Three Educational Agencies Launch a Groundbreaking Program to Help High School Students Enter College

CONTACT: Tina Jung tjung@cde.ca.gov
Rick Miller rdmiller@cde.ca.gov
Colleen Bentley-Adler cbentley-adler@calstate.edu

(November 4, 2003) SACRAMENTO – State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell today announced the culmination of an extraordinary three-year collaboration among the California Department of Education, State Board of Education, and California State University to better prepare high school students for college.

“We have developed a groundbreaking Early Assessment Program for high school students who need help boosting their proficiency in English and math,” said O’Connell. “This will help our students more easily enter any California State University,” said O’Connell.

The Early Assessment Program (EAP) combines CSU’s placement standards with high school standards, and test items included in an augmented California Standards Tests in English and math. Eleventh graders can volunteer to take these early assessments to determine whether they need additional preparation for college. This way, the students can complete any needed preparation in a more challenging high school senior year, which will help make their transition to college seamless.

“By connecting the CSU’s college placement standards in English and math to existing school tests, we believe we can better determine if students are ready for college,” said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed. “The better prepared students are when they come to the CSU, the better the chances are that they will succeed and graduate.”

“This is a major achievement for K-12 policymakers and the CSU system, but the biggest winners in this historic partnership are California’s high school students,” said State Board of Education President Reed Hastings. “Our students will now be able to get early warning in the 11th grade about where they need academic help and to be able to address those needs in their senior year. In that way, students won’t be locked out of college even before they have a chance to get in because of the lack of academic preparation.”

The three education leaders signed and sent a letter jointly to superintendents, high school principals, and school boards around the state announcing the implementation of EAP. This follows the successful launch of a pilot project during the 2002-03 school year involving 100 high schools statewide that volunteered to participate in EAP. The schools’ students took the augmented California Standards Tests in reading, writing, and mathematics. They will receive their test reports by the end of this year indicating whether they are ready for CSU college-level work or need some additional preparation. In the spring of 2004, EAP will be available to all high school juniors in the state who are taking 11th grade English and math courses required for admission to CSU. By 2007, CSU trustees have set a goal that 90-percent of all entering freshmen will be ready for college in English and math based on CSU placement standards.

This collaborative process started in 2000 at the request of the California Education Round Table, representing the leaders of all educational segments in the state. The process involved the California Department of Education, State Board of Education, CSU Chancellor's Office, and representatives of the CSU Academic Senate. The Round Table also had the support and participation of the University of California system wide office, its faculty, and an Intersegmental Coordinating Committee.

For more information on CSU, please visit www.calstate.edu.

For more information on the California Department of Education and the State Board of Education, please visit www.cde.ca.gov.


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Last Updated: November 4, 2003

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